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Archive for May, 2011


We took a ride today. Errands were done and I had found a neat drive last week and wanted to show the area to Jim. Of course the road ended by the Bainbridge Cemetery, close to the Susquehanna River.

Guess what infamous island is close to Bainbridge? See that steam rising between the Filberts’ monuments? I think they’re the reason she’s crying.

She remembers March 1979 when the reactors had a meltdown at Three Mile Island and when those cooling towers start spewing “steam” in the atmosphere, I bet she starts crying for what we’ve done to the environment, all in the name of progress.

I cry too, Esther Filbert.

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I recently took a “Cemetery Day” and meandered through Lancaster County visiting relatives in Graveyards.  Of course, while in the various graveyards, I didn’t only visit them, but wandered and met others. Two people I met were John H. Hipple and his mother, Mary.This beautiful monument drew me immediately when I saw the weathered canon and sword towards the top and the flag in the ground.  Although it has weathered over the years, that emblem still remains. Flags always draw me. I like to pay homage to those who have served and thank them for what they have done. Battles we’ve all heard of are documented on one side,  ending with John’s last in Spotsylvania.
Mary’s pride and grief are recorded on the other side.  

It is therefore no surprise to find buried next to her beloved son is Mary, between John and her husband Frederick for all of eternity. As a mother of sons that have served in the Armed Forces and grandmother of one who is currently serving, I understand this mother’s passion.

She not only sacrificed her son, she sacrificed a lot of money to honor and memorialize him.


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No trip to Warrenton Cemetery is complete without paying homage to the statue that rises above everything else in the cemetery. You can see it above everything else and if your curiousity doesn’t get the best of you, well then, you’re made of granite! Oh wait! That would be the statue that is made of granite!

The statue is located right next to the grave of the Confederate Colonel John S. Mosby ~ Mosby of “Mosby’s Rangers” or “Mosby Raiders” fame, “The Gray Ghost,” the hero of Northern Virginia.

The statue is dedicated to those 600 Confederates who died in the two Battles at Manassas. They were disinterred from their burial spots, which were unmarked, and are now resting beneath this monument. One account states that the soldiers had died in makeshift hospitals throughout the area and their grave markers were removed and used as firewood by Union soldiers.

The following inscription can be found on another side of the marble shaft of this majestic monument.



One of the first things you notice about the statue is what appears to be crushed rock around it’s base.  and that’s exactly what it is.  What outlines the rock is what counts!

In the border around that crushed rock are marble tablets with the name of the state each one of the men enlisted from. I’ve shown Virginia as an example since I was in their state at the time and it was at the front of the statue. After the name of the state are tablets with each man’s name, rank, regiment and date of death.

The back of the statue had two bronze plaques, one honoring the man who found the names of the soldiers buried in this spot and the other

honoring the benefactors who enabled this wall to be erected.


Once again, a community has come together to make sure that strangers, be it in life or death, have been acknowledged and thanked for their service to the cause.
It is an impressive “Thank You.”

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In March, on our way home from visiting our grandson at his Coast Guard “A” School in Yorktown, Virginia, we decided to “visit” my great-grandfather in Warrenton, Virginia.  It was pouring rain, but we stopped anyway since I did not have a good picture of his headstone.  Once we saw the area it appeared we would not get a good picture that day as well.  Not only was it surrounded by wet, soggy, muddy ground but a bush now covered over half of the stone. I had not come prepared with my Cemetery Kit so there were no clippers to take care of the gardening chores.
Fast forward to Easter Weekend and another trip to Yorktown, this time for Grandson’s graduation from his “A” School. We prepared for the return trip with clippers and and a garbage bag so I could perform my gardening duties.The ground was still soggy since it had rained the night before, but I clipped anyway. I had come prepared with clippers and my “Cemetery Shoes” this time.

In order to get a different perspective of the site, I walked down hill and took this picture from there. His headstone is under that bush . . . now.  On the other side of the large memorial that says “NIESS” it says “KELLY,” my great-grandfather’s second wife’s maiden name.   Buried to the left of Edwin is his wife, Florence Marie Kelly Niess,and next to Florence is Edwin Alonza’s son, Edwin Mark Niessand next to “Uncle Eddy” is his wife, Lucy Marguerite Kelly Niess
Yes ~ Father and Son were married to sisters! So Eddy’s sister-in-law was also his step-mother and Lucy’s sister was also her mother-in-law! And let’s not forget both father and son were attorneys in Washington DC with the same first name of Edwin! So if anyone would distinguish which attorney they were looking for by saying it was Edwin who was married to the Kelly girl, they could flip a coin!Lucy and Marie’s parents are also buried in this plot and this is the reverse side of the “Niess” Stone with their information on it. The Kellys are scattered here and there in this cemetery, but for some reason these two girls are buried with their parents. (this picture was taken that rainy day in March ~ can you tell??)

Rest in Peace, Niess/Kelly family! I’ll keep checking on you and make sure the shrubs are trimmed and you are all remembered!

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